Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuna Italiano

Here are the facts:

  1. As a pescetarian, I've eaten a lot of tuna sandwiches.  
  2. Of the tuna sandwiches I've eaten, the best ones have all been Italian-style.  
  3. Of the Italian-style tuna sandwiches I've eaten, the best ones have all been in Philly.  
  4. Of the Italian-style tuna sandwiches I've eaten in Philly, the best ones are the Tuna Diablo at Primo Hoagies (#1), Ave Maria at Sarcone's Hoagie's (#2), and the Tuna Italiana at Paesano's (#3).  

So, yeah folks, Philly is a solid town that packs a mighty punch in the hoagie department!  Check out this guide from the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation http://www.visitphilly.com/philadelphia-hoagie-finder/

Every good sandwich starts with good bread.  Since Baltimore isn't particularly known for its sandwiches, my options were somewhat limited in that department.  Stone Mill Bakery would have been my preferred option, but they were closed on Sunday when I made this sandwich.  After a little searching around, I ultimately ended up getting a baguette from Bonaparte Breads to create this masterpiece.  This sandwich is probably most similar to Paesano's Tuna Italiana.

Tuna Italiano


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 3 cans chunk light tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 1-12 oz jar hot cherry peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-8 oz jar roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/3 baguette
  • olive oil, to taste
  • 2 slices of sharp provolone cheese
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, thinly sliced with an egg slicer

Tuna Salad

In a bowl, combine first four ingredients.  Set aside.  Add drained tuna to a mesh strainer and press out any remaining water.  Combine with oil mixture.  Refrigerate and allow to marinate overnight if possible.   Note: Recipe will yield enough tuna salad for multiple sandwiches.   

Sauteed Broccoli Rabe & Hot Cherry Peppers

Thoroughly wash broccoli rabe and remove stems.  Set aside.  Chop about half of the hot cherry peppers.  Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium pan.  Combine broccoli rabe and hot cherry peppers in the pan and sauteed until just soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add one teaspoon of minced garlic during the last two minutes of cooking.  

Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers

In a bowl, combine roasted red bell peppers, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of garlic.  Allow to marinate overnight.

Sandwich - The Good Stuff

Preheat oven broiler.  Using a sharp knife, cut the baguette down the middle, leaving one end intact.  Carefully press both sides of the bread flat so that the intact end doesn't break.  Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil.  Add one slice of cheese to each side of the bread, cutting if necessary.  Add tuna salad and marinated roasted red bell peppers to the bottom side and the sauteed broccoli rabe & hot cherry peppers to the top side.  Place on a roasting pan and broil in the oven for 2 or 3 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Top with hard boiled egg slices.  Fold over to seal.  Enjoy!

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